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Ciência e Técnica Vitivinícola

versão impressa ISSN 0254-0223


PEREIRA, C. Silva; DANESH, P.; MARQUES, J. J. Figueiredo  e  ROMAO, M. V. San. Cork taint in wines - Current state of knowledge . Ciência Téc. Vitiv. [online]. 1999, vol.14, n.2, pp.79-99. ISSN 0254-0223.

The manufacture of cork stoppers in Portugal holds a relevant position within it’s manufacturing industries, as well as within the national economy of Portugal due to Portugal being the major cork stopper producer, world wide. The manufacturing process includes a stabilisation period of the cork slabs following boiling, designated the maturation period, during which mould growth completely covers the cork slabs. This process has been traditionally used for several decades and recently cork stoppers are being targeted with several false accusations, all concerning the problem of “cork taint”. The origin of “cork taint” has suffered different interpretations. Although there is a high variety of compounds already correlated with this problem, nowadays the term “cork taint” is somehow automatically confused with the presence of the compound 2,4,6-trichloroanisole, which is the main responsible factor in wine, although not exclusively so. The complexity of this problem, and the most recent results, justify a careful revision of this matter in order to clarify the researchers, the producers and the consumers. Confronting the first results that have previously shown the ability of certain moulds isolated from cork, to methylate chlorophenolic compounds and producing the corresponding chloroanisole, it is now clear that Chrysonilia sitophila does not use this metabolic strategy as it’s principal method to metabolise chlorophenols. C. sitophila is systematically associated with the maturation step of cork stopper manufacture, and has been identified as the white and salmon mould that covers the cork slabs during this stage. This has traditionally meant good quality. This report summarises the actual state of knowledge concerning this matter, including the most important results obtained recently from our work.

Palavras-chave : Cork industry; cork-stoppers; cork taint 2,4,6-trichloroanisole; Chrysonilia sitophila .

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